Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Abstract

Teachers everywhere are being held accountable for their professional actions through the test-driven curricula sweeping the nation. The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2002) makes it clear that promotion of reflective practice is an important component of teacher education programs. This multiple case study examines the relationship between epistemic stances and reflective thinking using a set of theories and instruments that allowed for the analysis of these constructs. The participants' epistemic stances were examined through the use of instruments developed by Baxter-Magolda (1992) while the qualitative aspects of reflective thinking were examined through the use of a theoretical framework developed by Mezirow (1991), an adult learning theorist. This study involved the collection of data from four student teachers in their last semester of an undergraduate teacher preparation program for elementary grades. However, to illustrate the intricacies of reflective thought development, the author focuses on two participants who exhibited ways of knowing that are adjacent in the Baxter-Magolda's framework (1992) and represent a natural progression through maturation. This study indicates that reflectivity seems to be grounded on specific epistemic stances that are socially constructed. Therefore, the promotion of reflective teachers is a complex process that may require close attention in every aspect of a teacher preparation program. Most importantly, reflective thinking can not be taught through a few simple techniques but requires education that transforms the preservice teachers' ways of knowing, their views about knowledge and the roles of teachers and students. (Contains 2 tables.)

Publication Title

Issues in Teacher Education

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